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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Microphone use (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Brent McLeod
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Agree totaly with BDC above!!

One area I was not as polished as other performers was in using a mike -on a stand, cord, & cordless

Now I have 3 I use in each show & the last year this has improved my show by so much just being familiar with using mics etc

Good thread!!!
Big Daddy Cool
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I do refer everyone to read Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber. He really goes into extraordinary detail about this subject, and his reason for not using a headset or lav go far beyond the technical - It has to do with the fundamental character of the magician!

Check it out.
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Magic Mike Japan
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Allow me to add my two cents here. I've used Madonna mikes (wireless headset), lavaliere mikes (clip-on), and wired mikes. Nothing looks and sounds more professional than a good-old Shure 58 mike, hard-wired. It just takes time to get used to when you can and can't use it.
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WizardB
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There is nothing more useful or important than good old fashioned voice projection...I learned this in a theater class in 6th grade. I only use mikes when the audience is talking during my act (at a fair or something), or the acoustics of the room aren't conducive (gymnasium, arena, etc.).
Brian
MagicMikeMartin
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I have been researching an audio solution for my performances and I remember a few having a line out which can be used to record your show.

This seems like a great way to capture your audio and music to playback later.
JackScratch
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All superb advice, but unless I missed it, one suggestion has been missed. Block and Rehearse your show using a hand-held, corded mic. Even if you have some electronic solution to the mic issue, the best electronics have problems. If and when that happens, I can tell you right now, better to use a house mic than to not perform at all. Using a house mic in a show that has never considered it is only marginally better then not performing at all. It's to easy a solution to a potential problem to not be accounted for. A 1 inch section of wooden dowel about 1.5 feet long, a small eye screw, and about 100 feet of sash cord make the perfect rehearsal set up. Build your fake mic and do your entire performance using it like a mic. First, you will be astounded that anyone can work with the stupid things. In time, you will augment your performance so that neither you, nor your audience, notices the mic. The next time you get to a performance, and nothing is going right, at the very least you will have that option was available.
Brent McLeod
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Just this week gone - As a stage manager-we had a major convention & had numerous probs with pre checked lapel mics

Sure enough the trustworthy mic on a stand -great sound -no problems!!

cheers
ferrari
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Headset mic is what I use works great
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2007-04-09 22:28, Moth wrote:
If you want to be working on a stand, you definitely are looking for an omni-directional (this was already mentioned once, but just in case you haven't decided for sure to go to the headset)

It sounds like you have a uni-directional - that means it'll only pick up in one direction. With an omni, you can "hit" the mic from all angles, so when you turn your head away from the stand it'll still get you.

As far as optimum distance? So you don't have to run it ridiculously hot, at least a spread hand width from your mouth to the mic - and if you spread your hand, place your index on your chin, and get the head of the mic to be intersecting with your pinky...well, that works for most folks.

Also - you'll want to speak at about 50% the volume you'd use to address the room if you were unamplified - so cut the audience volume in half, speak as if you're trying to get to the back row of THAT section - and you should be at a working volume.

-amanda



I couldn't disagree more on almost all points.

1) Use a cardioid mike. Practice with it like you would any other instrument or prop. Then you will know how to turn your head so you can hit the mike when you want to.
Using an omnidirectional mike invites feedback.

2) Don't run the mike as hot as you think you need to. If you speak at half volume, as Amanda suggests, you lose the excitement in your voice. It will make you sound like an FM DJ. If you do run the mike hot, back off from it and aim your head toward it. Some performers will run a series of cardioid mikes along the edge of the stage so there are several hot zones. Then the mikes will pick you up from almost any position. Just turn your head in the general direction of the mike and speak up.

3) Do not set your PA system to overcome your vocal deficiencies. Many performers tend to run their amps with high bass and low treble. This makes them sound boomy and muddy. If you want to err in one direction or the other, cut the bass a bit and increase the treble. Treble will cut through the crowd.

4) Do a pre-show check. Then MAKE SURE THAT NOBODY MESSES WITH THE SETTINGS. I can guarantee you with 90% certainty that in all of the cases where the sound was horrible on the wireless units, that someone fooled with the settings OR they were bad units in the first place.

I've been working amplified for a good 45 years. Get a good set of mikes and learn how they work. Don't buy junk. The ones I use are broadcast quality, not second line junk.

I'm constantly amazed at the number of people who will invest megabucks in an illusion show and will cheap out on their sound systems.

BTW, your sound system is one of your props. Take it with you. Don't use a house unit unless it is your ONLY option. You wouldn't use someone else's Zig-Zag or Impaled, would you?
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MagicalDuda
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Maximum Entertainment = Excellent book
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corsufle
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Quote:
On 2009-06-15 14:50, MagicalDuda wrote:
Maximum Entertainment = Excellent book


I agree about Maximun Entertainment. Also, speaking as an audio engineer, I agree with almost everything Bill Palmer said above.

I'd advise keeping it as simple as possible so there will be fewer things to go wrong. Specifically, a mic on a cord is simpler than a wireless mic. A dynamic mic (e.g. SM-58) is simpler than a condensor mic. Learning how to speak loudly and clearly is simpler than trying to use EQ or effects to make up for deficiencies. Avoid audio equipment that requires batteries.

Obviously, different people have different preferences and special situations require special considerations. If anyone disagrees, that is OK with me.

My last piece of advice is to learn some basic troubleshooting skills so you can quickly find the bad connection or cable or gear and swap it out. Also learn what causes feedback (usually pointing the mic at a speaker or having the gain too high) and don't do that.

Sorry if I rambled off topic.
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Brent McLeod
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Quote:
On 2007-05-13 17:17, Big Daddy Cool wrote:
I do refer everyone to read Maximum Entertainment by Ken Weber. He really goes into extraordinary detail about this subject, and his reason for not using a headset or lav go far beyond the technical - It has to do with the fundamental character of the magician!

Check it out.


Agree totally-Great Advice in this book

The most problems Ive seen in many shows is poor head set Mikes quality or interference etc..
and what has always saved the day
is a reliable old Shure Mic in a stand as mentioned here, headsets sound is never as good-always muffled to some degree

Keep it in a stand when using your hands & take out when talking to the audience etc.. Looks great for what we do

All the comedy clubs use a Mic in a stand-why?-Reliability

Cheers
Jim Sparx
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Here is a guy who will teach you to use a stand up microphone correctly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTZjJRJ0wg&feature=related
Decomposed
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Quote:
On 2005-08-29 06:49, jonthewierdo wrote:
I'd second a headset mike for magic acts, unless you’re doing something like the Electric Chairs which requires off mike cueing of specs then a handheld radio mike is easier.

In any event a Radio Mike is a must these days.......

If the mike does not seem to pick you up when in holder around your neck, it could be as simple as turning the volume up on your amp and/or radio mike receiver so that the mike head does not need to be held as need to your mouth.

There is nothing worse than performers who seem to like "eating" the mike.

Rehearsal of your act at home whilst using the mike also helps immensely.


I agree. I have been through so many mics and now use a handheld with a neck holder. I find a handheld just cannot be beat. Just have the dee jay turn up the volume.
jcss
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The problem is that the lavalier is easy to engage the sound
jlevey
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Quote:
On Feb 29, 2012, Jim Sparx wrote:
Here is a guy who will teach you to use a stand up microphone correctly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfTZjJRJ0wg&feature=related


Unfortunately, this link no longer works. Can you please post a working link, or a t least post the name of the performer that has taken the time to speak on this important subject so that we might do our own Youtube search and locate his tutorial video on the art of using hand mics effectively? Many thanks.

Jonathan
Jonathan
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M. Tesla
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When I did my stage act I used a wireless mike and a mike on a stand for volunteers (the stand had a holder on it for the mike, so the mike could be slipped out and put in the hands of someone if necessary). When I played large venues I used m own sound system; two tower speakers, a mixing board, a wireless mike for me, and a mike on a stand for volunteers...I could handle a 10,000 square foot hall with this equipment. When I performed stand-up, per se, at a grocery stores, promotions, malls, whatever, and other similar types of performances, where I stood in the same spot with a table in front of me, I used a small amplifier, a small sound board, and a smaller wireless mike set up. I have two tower speakers, the mixing board, a better wireless mike, and a stand mike, but I also have a large single speaker amplifier, and a smaller single speaker amplifier, and several wireless mikes of varying degrees of size and quality...I guess the sound equipment I had (and still do) could handle quite a bit...I never found an around-the-neck mike holder that was worth a c*r*a*p...
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Brent McLeod
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6 years ago I wrote in this thread and many hundreds of corporate shows later still use a top of the range shure mic on a stand and PA system ,which I do a thorough sound check at every show with my own gear...main reason for me is better quality of sound in the mic and settings as mentioned in many of the great posts above..I havent tried very often a mic in a neck holder that's worked really well..I am very comfortable with a stand and have no problems doing effects in my hands.
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